We had the incredible opportunity to interview Winy Maas, the M in MVRDV, one the most influential contemporary practices, which has been able to push the boundaries of our field in different scales, from buildings to master plan, from construction to theory. In this interview Winy shares interesting thoughts on the role of the architect and how he runs this design/research practice.
Upon graduating in 1984 from the RHSLT Boskoop in landscape architecture, Winy Maas (Schijndel, 1959) resumed his education at Delft University of Technology where he completed his degrees in architecture and urbanism, graduating in 1990 with honors. Shortly after and together with Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries, Maas founded MVRDV in 1991.
Since then, the Rotterdam-based practice has earned a leading role in international architecture. MVRDV’s first commissions, both located in the Netherlands, included the television center Villa VPRO and the housing estate for elderly WoZoCo. Maas lectures and teaches throughout the world and actively takes part in international juries. Currently, Maas is a visiting professor of architectural design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is professor in architecture and urban design at the faculty of architecture, Delft University of Technology. Prior to this, he served as professor at Berlage Institute, Ohio State and Yale University. In 2008, Maas founded The Why Factory (t?f), a thinktank on future cities at Delft University of Technology where he remains director. You can see an example on the Urban Farming In Numbers video.
Maas is also a member of the research board of Berlage Institute Rotterdam, president of the spatial quality board of Rotterdam, supervisor of the Bjorvika urban development in Oslo and advisor to the city of Almere. To add to his ever-growing list of achievements, Maas has been made honorary member of the AIA, received the international fellowship of the RIBA and the French Legion d’Honneur. In addition to being an architect, he designs stage sets, objects and was curator of Indesem 2007.
MVRDV projects previously featured at ArchDaily: